Jesus Christ Superstar Tops Live TV Musical Critical Ranking

Jesus Christ Superstar Live, the Andrew Lloyd Webber, Andrew Rice musical that was broadcast live on NBC Sunday, April 1, 2018, has received ecstatic reviews — 100 percent on the tomato meter of Rotten Tomatoes. That is the highest of any of the live musicals on network TV since the trend began in December 2013 with The Sound of Music Live. (The number of viewers was below that of the Sound of Music, Grease and The Wiz.)

Below is a list of ten of those shows, ranked in order of critical response as measured by Rotten Tomato.

Jesus Christ Superstar Live

(NBC, 4/1/2018, 9.6 million viewers) Fresh at 100 percent

THE WIZ LIVE! — Pictured: (l-r) Elijah Kelley as Scarecrow, Ne-Yo as Tin-Man, David Alan Grier as Lion, Shanice Williams as Dorothy

The Wiz Live

(NBC, 12/3/15, 11.5 million viewers)

My take

Sing along with The Wiz Live

Fresh at 91 percent

Aaron Tveit as Danny and Juianne Hough as Sandy

Grease Live

(Fox, 1/31/16, 12.2 million viewers)

Noah Robbins on Grease Live, his first musical since high school

Sing along with Grease Live

Fresh at 91 percent


HAIRSPRAY LIVE! — Pictured: (l-r) Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad, Martin Short as Wilbur Turnblad

Hairspray Live

(NBC, 12/7/16, 9.1 million same-day viewers) 

My take

Sing along with Hairspray

Fresh at 79 percent

The Passion

(Fox 3/20/16, 6.6 million viewers)

Fresh at 60 pecent

Peter Pan Live

Sing along to Peter Pan

(NBC, 12/4/14, 9.2 million viewers)

Rotten at 59 percent

The Sound of Music Live

My take

 (NBC, 12/5/13, 18.6 million viewers) 

Rotten at 44 percent

A Christmas Story Live

(Fox, 12/17/17, 4.5 million viewers)

Rotten at at 43 percent


The Rocky Horror Picture Show:

Let’s Do The Time Warp Again

(Fox, 10/21/16, 4.95 million viewers)

My take

Rotten at 28 percent


Dirty Dancing

(ABC, 5/24/17. 6.6 million viewers)

Rotten at 20 percent

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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